The term vitamin K indicates a series of compounds derived from the 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone molecule including vitamin K1, synthesized by green plants and vitamin K2, produced in the intestinal tract by intestinal flora.
Characterized by antihemorrhagic properties, vitamin K (fat-soluble) is useful for blood clotting.
Vitamin K is naturally contained in green leafy vegetables (spinach, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts) and, in smaller quantities, in cereals, meat and dairy products.
Minimum recommended daily amounts of vitamin K have not been defined: however, it is believed that the optimal intake should be around 1 microgram for each kg of body weight, normally supplied by a mixed diet, but today vegetables are often deficient and determines a direct deficiency in man. The alterations of the intestinal flora due to the altered diet and environmental stress determine a deficiency even if once the deficiencies were not highlighted due to a better intestinal flora. Furthermore, the abuse of antibiotics, in addition to causing antibiotic resistance, has led to a death in the intestinal flora and therefore a reduction of its synthesis internally. Vitamin K is also a fat-soluble vitamin and needs bile to be absorbed.
People operated on the gallbladder or with impaired digestion of fats also have an alteration of its absorption with risk of coagulation combined with an altered deposit of atherosclerotic plaques. Vitamin K in fact facilitates the calcium deposit in the bones and not in the vessels. Its long-term deficiency instead favors the calcium deposit in the vessels with all the related risks
Research by the Nutrition and Health Innovation Research Institute of the Australian Edith Cowan University has revealed that the risk of fractures in old age can be reduced. The study, carried out in collaboration with the University of Western Australia, examined the relationship between fracture hospitalizations and vitamin K1 intake in nearly 1,400 older women over a 14.5-year period using the Perth Longitudinal Study of Aging Women. According to the research, published in Food & Function, women who consumed more than 100 micrograms of vitamin K1 – equivalent to about 125 g of dark leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli), or one to two servings of greens – had the 31% less likely to have fractures than participants who consumed less than 60 micrograms per day, the current intake guideline in Australia. The results were even better when it came to hip fractures: Those who ate the most amount of vitamin K1 saw their risk of hospitalization reduced by almost half (49%). The authors of the study therefore suggest that the ideal amount of vitamin K1 is greater than 100 micrograms per day.
Have a nice day and make sure you have enough vitamin K